Times Tables at Home
"We want children not only to recall that 7 × 4 = 28, but more important know commutative and inverse facts, mini and mega facts, e.g. 70 × 4 = 280 and 0.7 × 4 = 2.8; the distributive law, e.g. (5 × 4) + (2 × 4) = 7 × 4; doubling and halving facts, and also know that 4 × 7 is the same as (5 × 7) – 7. " - Professor Jenny Field
Why is multiplication important?
The ability to rehearse and understand multiplications up to and including 12 by the final year of primary school will enable your child to confidently and skilfully tackle more complex mathematical strategies reducing the burden on their working memory.
Children should gain a conceptual understanding of multiplication so they can comprehend 'why' and 'how' the times table functions, rather than just 'what' the answer is. This deeper thinking process allows for meaningful application, enabling them to successfully implement the skill in other aspects of their learning.
The national expectation is that children should know all the times table facts to 12x12 by the end of year 4. All Year 4 pupils will sit a Multiplication Tables Check which consists of 25 questions up to 12x12. They are given 6 seconds from the time the question appears to input their answer on the computer. This means that children must be able to read, recall and enter their response within the given time. A useful link to try a similar check is Multiplication Tables Check.
At Caldecote, pupils build on their times tables knowledge in the following way:
Use practical activities and equipment to aid understanding and lay the foundations for visual images that represent numbers.
Counting in 2’s up to 10.
Counting in steps of 2s (and doubling), 5s and 10s from different multiples. Pupils to develop their recognition of patterns in the number system and make connections using arrays.
Count in steps of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 from 0 and in 10s from any number, forward and backwards.
Continue to practise and recall multiples of 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 50 & 100.
Pupils will continue to practise recalling and using multiplication and related division facts to aid fluency. They will recall multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 x 12.
Year 5 and Year 6
Pupils are challenged to apply the knowledge they have gained and develop instant recall. In Year 5, pupils will identify multiplies and factors, including finding all factor pairs of a number and common factors of 2 numbers.
They will also use number facts such as if I know 6 x 4 = 24 then I also know the following:
60 x 4 240 ÷ 40 0.4 X 6 24 ÷ 0.4 2.4 ÷ 6 2400 ÷ 6 0.4 x 0.6
Times Tables at Home
Pupils benefit from seeing the multiplication table build up from the beginning (look at one group of the amount and then adding another group/row each time). This helps pupils link multiplication to repeated addition e.g. linking 5 x 4 as 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 and knowing they both make 20.
Note: It is also good to talk about no groups / no rows. If there were no groups of 4 cars, there are 0. This reinforces 0 x 4 = 0.
2 groups of 4 is worth 8 3 groups of 4 is worth 12 4 groups of 4 is worth 16
Using arrays would help with this process. Your child might point to each object whispering 1, 2, 3 and shouting 4 and so on. They then repeat this on their fingers; tapping a finger and whispering 1, 2, 3 and shouting 4. Over time, children will miss out the whisper numbers and skip count. Discuss efficient methods by asking: Do we need to count up from 0? If you can remember your 5th fact, could you count on from there?
Flashcards and Games with Cards
Turn the facts into a set of cards with the answer on the back. Organise them in an array to begin with to help with visual memory. Repeated rehearsal in order should strengthen memory so do not rush to reach the out of order and speed rounds yet.
Once your child is confident, try:
- In order
- Start with product, give the fact
- Out of order - choose the easiest first
- Out of order and given less choice
- Place a number of cards around the room. Your child goes to the place in the room based on the clue given e.g. go to the product that is an even number that is over 30.
- Higher or lower
- Speed rounds
- Matching game
- Times table bingo
- Share cards out to two players. Each player to show a card each and work out the product. Who has the biggest number? They win the card.
Extension: Ask your child to think of at least 3 different number sentences what equal the same. Try using different operations e.g. 6 x 5 = 10 x 3 = 40 - 10 = (10 + 5) x 2
- Stick to one multiplication table at a time or return to explore a small number of less well remembered facts. Focusing on one family or set at a time will allow your child further opportunities to build confidence and lasting memory of facts.
- Practise tables as a time-filler. While you are sitting at traffic lights or waiting in a queue, this is a perfect opportunity for a bit of times table practice.
- Play and create your own games
- Create a challenge. Time them and keep a record of their scores. Join in by setting yourself a challenge to learn a more difficult times table such as the 13 times table.
- Make it real. Take opportunities to use multiplication in problem solving such as scaling up a recipe, calculating the price of more than one item or laying the cutlery on the table.
- Help them with the ones they find tricky. Ask questions such as: "Which facts do you think you already remember?" "Which facts are harder to remember? Why?" "How could you use other facts you know to help?".
- Keep it fresh. Once a multiplication table has been learnt, keep the flashcards safe and return to them after a break.
Year 1 - Year 6
10 Minutes a Day Times Tables (Free)
Maths Loops: Times Tables (Free)
Times Table Mountain (99p)
Times Table Practice Made Easy (99p)
Times Tables Personal Assistant (£1.99)
Squeebles Times Tables (£3.99)